Adam Scott will go into the final round of the Australian PGA Championship today holding a three-shot lead, despite his first wobbles of the tournament on the Gold Coast.
The Masters champion dropped his first shots of the tournament on the front nine of yesterday's third round but recovered to shoot an even-par 71 to be 10-under at Royal Pines. Scott, who hadn't bogeyed in his first two rounds, came unstuck with bogeys on the par-four seventh and eighth to allow rivals Rickie Fowler and David McKenzie to overhaul his two-shot overnight lead.
But the world No2 showed his class on the back nine as Fowler and McKenzie faltered, making birdie on the par-five 12th and par-five 15th to pull clear.
New Zealand's Gareth Paddison continued his good form and likelihood of at least a top 10 finish even though he hit a two-over par 73 to go with his 68 and 67 of the first two rounds. He is tied sixth, five shots behind Scott, and heads a large New Zealand contingent.
Sven Puymbroeck, the Brisbane-based professional from Christchurch is tied for 18th at two-under, three back from Paddison, with Josh Geary tied for 24th and Michael Long and David Klein tied for 30th, equal with the card. Michael Hendry and Nick Gillespie made the cut - but well-performed Kiwis Mark Brown, Steven Alker, Mahal Pearce and Brad Shilton did not.
Tricky crosswinds made it tough for any player to post strong scores, with Queenslander Michael Wright (68) providing the highlight of the afternoon with an eagle on the 15th.
Young American Fowler (71) sits in a tie for second on seven-under with Victoria's McKenzie (72) after a mixed day on the lengthy resort course. The 24-year-old made three birdies in his round but also tripped up with bogies on the ninth, 12th and 14th proving costly.
Wright and Gold Coast-based Steven Jeffress (71) are a further shot back in a share of fourth while several players, including US PGA Tour player Marc Leishman (68), are hovering at five-under overall.